The Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers, a nonprofit organization that operates health clinics in Burlington, Atlantic and Salem counties, officially announced Wednesday that it will renovate its center in Burlington City to better serve new patients.
“Once the two-story, 19,714-square-foot health facility is renovated, Southern Jersey anticipates at least a minimum of 5,700 new patients will be served within the first year,” said Linda Flake, the organization’s CEO.
“In addition to primary care services, the new state-of-the-art health care home will include a women’s health suite, a community room, and ultimately behavioral health services and a community garden.”
Southern Jersey largely provides primary health care to low-income and uninsured residents and migrant seasonal farm workers, and has seven primary health care centers, including one in Pemberton Township.
The renovation, expected to cost $3.5 million, is scheduled to be completed in a year and is being made possible with funding mandated by the Affordable Care Act through the Health Resources and Service Administration.
State and local officials at the announcement welcomed the expanded services and the estimated 30 new jobs they would bring. There are 14 staff members at the clinic at 651 High St.
“Anytime you see an expansion of health care in our community is a good thing. There is such a critical need to make sure folks have access to efficient, quality health care,” said Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-7th of Palmyra. “The need is huge.”
Mayor James Fazzone said the clinic has been popular in the past.
“I see a lot of traffic coming in and out of here. I think when a facility like this opens with the program that they have, people are going to show up,” Fazzone said.
“I think they’re going to grow out of this facility, and I think they’re going to build the next one and I wouldn’t doubt if they grow out of that,” he said.
“Burlington City is our fastest-growing site,” Flake said. “What we’ve looked at is the number of patients that are out there in need. So far, we’re taking care of about 32 percent of those patients.”